Tweet And Repeat: The Power Of Sharing And Sharing Again

Rinse and repeat. Those words have become a meme in American culture. Where did they come from. I’m betting you know!

Tweet & Repeat: The Power of Multiple Social Shares

That’s right. “Rinse and repeat,” the familiar instructions on almost every bottle of shampoo sold in the U.S. since… well, probably since shampoo has been sold. Even though we suspect that instruction might be there just to sell more shampoo, most of us dutifully follow it.

But when it comes to sharing our content on social media, many marketers not only fail to rinse and repeat their shares, they may think they should not do that.

Recently I sampled the Twitter shares of 30 different people who were both regular bloggers and regular Twitter users. I took note when they shared one of their own blog posts for the first time on Twitter. Then I monitored their tweets for 30 days. I found that 80% of those people never shared their own content again after the first time.

Why Don’t We Re-share Our Stuff?

Before we get into why we should re-share our own stuff more than once, let’s talk about why we don’t. I have no scientific data on this, but I can make a reasonable guess at two possible reasons:

  1. Laziness. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. Perhaps we should say “busyness.” In any case, it’s easy to press those share buttons after publishing your content and think, “My work here is done.”
  2. Fear Of Spamming. In the early days of social media, the conventional wisdom was that sharing the same thing more than once on the same network was rude and spammy.

The laziness/busyness problem is obvious, as is its solution: become more intentional about re-sharing or using tools to preschedule social shares.

Fear of spamming, on the other hand, is harder to overcome. I would argue that it might have been a legitimate concern back when there were far fewer people on social media. But these days, most people have very busy social streams. A single post is actually more likely not to be seen by the majority of your followers.

If you only share something once, or a few times, the majority of your followers won’t see it.

That’s generally true on any network. Most Marketing Land readers by now are well aware that it’s particularly true on the largest social network, Facebook, where current estimates are that posts by pages are seen by as little as 6% of their followers.

The Power Of Multiple Shares

But does sharing your content multiple times work? At my agency, we’ve set up multiple shares on all of our content for a long time now, and we almost always find that we get much more lifetime traffic for the content.

Here’s a recent example. We actually shared this post more than four times during the period shown, but the peaks you see are the times that the shares really took off (you never can predict which shares will “hit”):

Effect of multiple social shares of one piece of content

Notice that each of the later shares that “hit” generated more than half the amount of traffic that the original share did. That’s traffic we never would have had if we’d only shared once. If you only share your content once, you are almost certainly leaving traffic on the table.

A Multiple Share Strategy

• Automation & Calendars. The biggest barrier to getting out multiple shares is between our ears: our memories. Once we’ve published and shared a piece of content, it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” We’re on to the next project or task.

One way to overcome that is using a calendar with alerts (such as Google Calendar). As part of your process when publishing new content, set reminders out over the next month or so prompting you to re-share the content.

A more sophisticated solution is an automated publishing tool such as HootSuite. HootSuite and similar tools allow pre-scheduling of social shares on multiple social networks. HootSuite even has an actual publishing calendar. Click on any date and time, and a window pops up to create your post. The post will then be shared at the date and time on which you had clicked.

• Changing It Up. Another way to get more “bang” out of your multiple shares (and alleviate any latent “am I spamming?” fears) is to vary how you share your content.

Most content shares on social media lead with the title of the post. At my agency, that’s usually the form of our first share. From there, we plan a series of subsequent shares that are based on the deep content of the post. So, instead of sharing the article title, we might share a tip from the post, or provide an interesting statistic.

Not only does this tactic prevent sharing the exact same thing again, but there is a chance that a specific tip might grab someone where the title didn’t.

• Re-share Frequency. How often should you re-share? This is one of those “there’s no right answer” questions. However, testing may show what works best for your audiences.

I try to avoid stereotypes about “what works” on different social networks, but it is important to pay attention to the “flow” of each network. For example, Twitter tends to move very quickly. The average “half-life” of a tweet is about 24 minutes.

That means you can probably benefit from re-sharing on Twitter more frequently than on some other networks. If you’re re-sharing within a short period of time, though, rewrite the tweet, as Twitter will reject the same exact tweets sent too closely together.

• A Suggestion For Testing. If you’re a data geek and really want to know how effective your re-shares are, or how many or how closely-spaced they can be before they lose effectiveness, try tagging your links. Use the Google URL Builder Tool to create a unique URL for each network and individual share of your content. Then you can look under Campaigns in Google Analytics to see how much traffic each share brought to your content.

Have you been intentional about doing multiple shares of your content? Have you seen discernible results? What is your multiple re-share strategy?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Blogging | Channel: Social Media Marketing | Content Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing Column


About The Author: is Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting. His primary responsibility is building the online reputation of Stone Temple while testing strategies and tactics that will benefit STC clients. He has a special reputation as an expert on Google+ and Google Authorship.

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  • Mark Traphagen

    Hi! I’m the author of this post. Thanks for reading it. If you have any questions or comments about my topic, I’ll welcome there and will respond where needed.

  • Mark Traphagen

    After some feedback on my social networks….

    The caution I wish I’d made more clear in my article is that you have to do this carefully and thoughtfully to not be seen as spamming.

    You should adjust to the network. You can probably share more frequently on a network like Twitter where the posting volume is very high. But here on G+, I’d put much more space between reshares.

    The point of my article was not meant to be “reshare as often as you can get away with” but rather “reshare thoughtfully and responsibly, in a way you’re sure won’t tick off your followers.:

  • Martin Oxby

    Though within that, there will be a period of experimentation where you might tick off a few until you find a pattern most people are happy with.

  • Brittany Berger

    One thing that really helps me: after writing a post, I come up with at least 5 tweets for it – a lot of these will be quotes from the post. When I sit down to schedule posts for our Twitter account, I take tweets from this. At this point, there’s probably several thousand tweets in there. I highlight or change the color of ones I have used recently to avoid too much repetition. It’s been REALLY helpful…I may need to write a post about it…

  • Mark Traphagen

    Well said, Martin. You will have to do some experimentation to find your sweet spot for each network. For me, if my typical follow to unfollow ratio is not negatively affected, then I’m good.

  • Mark Traphagen

    Brittany, we do something very similar, as I hint in the article. For every content piece we publish we create a series of what we call “value add” tweets. These can be either a quote from the article or a main point, (shared like a tip). When the article is first published we put those in HootSuite to go out at different time over the next week. Then they to into a regular rotation that we recycle from time to time.

  • Mike Allton

    Fantastic Mark! One trick that I’ve implemented to help myself with my ‘busyness’ is to use the HootSuite Syndicator app – the one that lets you bring an RSS feed into a stream so that you can see the most recent articles and choose ones to share – and set up my OWN RSS feed as a stream. I can then pop in and see my latest blog posts and queue them up for additional shares. I typically share a new blog post 2 – 4 times to Twitter within the first 24 – 48 hours. If I find that it’s really resonating well, I may continue to share it at that pace for another day or two, or perhaps after the weekend if it was a Friday post.

    After that, I use Buffer to help me reshare evergreen content to LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+, and just shared an article today talking about how I’ve switched to SocialOomph for sharing evergreen content to Twitter. With the amount of articles I have in my archive, I can tweet every 45 minutes and go a month without repeating.

  • Denver Prophit Jr.

    @trappermark:disqus, I read that you extract talking points from an article for targeted reshare. I did not see the methodology behind that. Were subsequent reshares done as photo post, same link share different comment for the links share, etc, etc.

    @brittanyberger:disqus, same question to you? Are you doing text tweets with a shortened URL back to the same content?

  • Martin Oxby

    You want to use a URL shortener and tagged URL builder for Analytics so that you can refine your tweet writing to improve CTR and to improve which content you re-publish.

    The more data you have on content you are sharing the better for future decision-making.

  • Chery Schmidt

    Hello Mark, “Rinse and repeat,” Now this is one I am very Guilty of and No not because of laziness more like stated Business HEHE I do need to pay more attention to this and Love the idea of setting up tweets to go out for this, Why not you can schedule them for a week out DUH!1

    What an Awesome Article Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

    P.S. I did land here today Via Kingged

  • Mark Traphagen

    Denver, we do that primarily for Twitter. For example, if an article has three tips on something, we’ll prepare four tweets: one with the title and three more with each of the tips. All to the same link, of course.

    Since Twitter instituted expanded images and HootSuite now allows me to drag and drop images into scheduled tweets, I now use them as much as possible.

  • Denver Prophit Jr.

    Thanks @trappermark:disqus I have HootSuite Pro, also. Our WordPress theme has the ability to show 3 featured images for articles. i’m going to see if the og:image on G+ shares will allow me to use the 2nd alternate image as well.

    I think you can sort blog posts in wordpress by date? I’ll use that with G+ calendar like you wrote to repost every 90 days.

  • Denver Prophit Jr.

    @martinoxby:disqus Our GA social plugin will tell us a lot about what was found useful. I don’t remember off hand if I’ve ever seen twitter clicks. Thanks for the tip!

  • Brittany Berger

    I frequently add a photo to the share, but don’t put the picture URL into the spreadsheet. I re-upload the photo to Twitter each time, since sometimes doing otherwise doesn’t add a preview in the Twitter stream

  • Mark Traphagen

    We do the same, for the same reasons.

  • Priya Chandra

    Great post Mark – I know I’m part of the share once and forget brigade and I really need to get over the fear I have of ‘spamming’ my networks.
    Do you do this with LinkedIn as well? I’ve noticed content there can move very fast, especially if you have the default update settings on, and are subscribed to a lot of people.

  • Mark Traphagen

    Thanks Priya. I vary the “velocity” of how often I reshare by network, and LinkedIn is a place where I do reshare more often because like Twitter content moves by pretty quickly there.

  • Marissa Davidson

    Nice one :) “Why don’t we re-share our stuff?” Most probably we are only sharing tweets if we really like it. Others might think that they don’t care about your post.


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